SHREVEPORT, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – The Salvation Army Women’s Auxiliary Shreveport-Bossier held its annual Red Kettle Run to support their philanthropic and humanitarian efforts. Participants signed up and donated money for a fun run, 5k or 10k.

“It’s fun, it’s family-oriented, it’s a happy time, it’s a healthy time, it’s a safe place for people to come, we had probably about 170-ish runners that signed up,” said Robin Merkle, president of the Salvation Army Women’s Auxiliary.

After the race, the organization announced their red kettle and angel tree kick-off. The community will begin seeing volunteers ring bells for donations. They will also be able to adopt groups or families on angel trees.

“We’ve got to help the people that need it. From angel tree, helping families allow their children Christmas, to putting money in the kettle, which helps us with all of our services throughout the year,” said Jeff Johnson, chairman of the Salvation Army board.

Over 1,800 children aged 0-12 will be on the registry for angel trees. The Salvation Army says they work with the school boards of parishes to identify families with needs.

“It’s not just someone who wants free toys and goodies; it’s families that they’re choosing to pay a utility bill or get their kids Christmas, it’s putting food on the table, or putting new clothes on their backs, it is in a sense vital,” said Julie Allen, development director for the Salvation Army.

The directory for the angel tree can be found on the Salvation Army Facebook page. Gifts must be received by the end of November. The Salvation Army ensures that every child on the tree gets a Christmas, and they can do the work with donations.

“They have such a huge purpose for us because if we do not hit our goal, which is close to $140,000, it causes us to have to reduce services for those who need it, and we are seeing more people come into our doors with need,” said Allen.